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Convention center will remove shroud from controversial mural

By Susan Essoyan

LAST UPDATED: 4:26 p.m. HST, Sep 19, 2013

The mural, "Forgotten Inheritance," by Hans Ladislaus will be unveiled again for public viewing at the Hawai'i Convention Center after having been shrouded in black cloth since Sept. 4.

Hawaii Tourism Authority President Mike McCartney had ordered the public artwork draped in deference to objections from some native Hawaiians who found the depiction of bones in the sand at the edge of the mural to be offensive.

But his decision provoked more controversy than the mural itself. In a written statement Thursday afternoon, McCartney did not indicate when the covering would be removed. 

"After a series of productive meetings with all the involved parties, the HTA is pleased to announce that a mutual understanding has been reached which will allow the piece by Hans Ladislaus to be put back on display at the Hawaii Convention Center," the statement said. 

"This mutual agreement was based on sincere mutual respect between the involved parties and includes continuing discussions with the involved parties to further their understanding and appreciation of the various perspectives raised during this process."

The artwork had been on display since the convention center was completed 16 years ago. The 10-by-25-foot sculpture is an abstract panorama incorporating a map of the island chain and various symbols, including at its far edge, stylized images of bones in sand. It was made of concrete, plaster and brass.

Ladislaus said the artwork was designed to reflect his concern that Hawaii's people are losing touch with their heritage.

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